Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Total Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse

Conditions were nearly perfect last night in Honolulu for viewing and capturing these images of this total lunar eclipse. The rare celestial event was the first total lunar eclipse visible from Hawaii in 4 years. As usual this eclipse was spectacular as they always are. And what made me happy was that I got some decent (though not perfect) photos of the phenomena.

Larger version of this photo.

Wind, Rain & a Tembler!


The Big Island of Hawaii was hit by a moderate earthquake tonight that registered at 5.3 on the Richter scale. It looks like the quake is volcano related as it occurred downslope near the current Pu’O eruption that has been ongoing since 1983.

A friend of mine from Hilo called me shortly after it happened. (I’m on the island of Oahu more than 220 miles away)… he said it was quite big and long. We had just gotten off the phone talking about the approaching hurricane.

Yes, Hurricane Flossie is still a factor on our near future weather. The last report showed that the hurricane was blowing with sustained winds of up to 120 mph, which is slightly less than it was this morning. The hurricane is a category 3 storm.

Forecasters predict the storm will just pass about 70 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii tomorrow. The residents will still bear much of the brunt of the storm since winds radiate more than 140 miles out from the center. And this is assuming it stays on the same track. If it veers a few degrees north, the Big Island of Hawaii will definitely be hit. The other islands will also be in the direct path.

Here in Honolulu the effects of the hurricane should be minimum if the present track holds. As for the earthquake, it was not felt on Oahu.

We are following the progress of Hurricane Flossie, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, earthquakes not withstanding.

Map graphic from the USGS.

Kilauea Volcano Hit by Swarm of Quakes

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A swarm of small earthquakes have hit the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes Natonal Park area for more than 24 hours now. The quakes range from undetectable micro quakes to locally felt tremors of 3.2 to 4 on the Richter Scale. All of the quakes have been centered at Kilauea Volcano’s upper rift zone several miles above the current, active eruption.

As a precaution, park rangers evacuated a handful of campers within the national park and closed most of the park yesterday.

The earthquake swarm could be a signal that a change may be happening with the current eruption and that a new eruption could begin. Scientists are not exactly sure and say this is unusual activity for the volcano. The earthquakes also mean that hot lava is moving fairly close to the surface, about 1 to 2 miles under the volcano.

I just hope this latest geological activity on the Big Island does not trigger any earthquakes that are larger than yesterday’s 4.0, which was apparently only felt within the local area, and not statewide. No tsunami was generated.

Keep Out of the Water

A sign posted at the Diamond Head end of Kakaako Waterfront park warns users to stay out of the water. A sewer line break several blocks away from this area caused a spillage of several hundreds of gallons of raw sewage into the ocean this past weekend. Definitely not a sign the Hawaii Visitors Bureau would like to see!

Photo taken at the Diamond Head end of Kakaako Waterfront Park.

E-Waste Day

It was E-Waste day at the University of Hawaii today. This day was set aside by the U.H., the State Department of Education and Apple Computer. The public had a chance to get rid of their e-waste and not worry about sending it off to the landfill. Supposedly the e-waste collected will be shipped off to the mainland or somewhere, and have their components recycled.

It was a good opportunity for me to get rid of some of my household clutter. Among the items that I finally got around to letting go were the following:

Macintosh II computer, Macintosh Centris 650 computer, Sony Betamax VCR, Sony single play CD component player and various miscellaneous electronics and computer items.

Now I have more room. Next I need to get rid of some of my old books and perhaps my “newer” old computers such as my Powercenter 150 and Power Mac 9500. I also have perfectly fine Mac SE and Mac Plus compters lying around. Anyone interested in buying these? I may sell them for a song.

There is talk that some people would like to see a computer recycling tax be levied upon the consumers of Hawaii for every computer or TV they purchase. This is a bad, bad idea. Hawaii already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. We are already being taxed for way too many consumer transactions. The general excise tax is going to rise on January 1. Do we need a computer tax or as proponents would like to refer to it, a “computer recycling fee”? No!

Volunteer and corporate efforts such as today’s E-Waste day are great ideas and should be implemented more often. A mandatory new tax is not. It will only add to the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii.

No Cabins on Ka Iwi

No Cabins on Ka Iwi

Opposition to QRM development proposal across the Ka Iwi shoreline in East Honolulu remains high. Yesterday several dozen people who oppose the development of 180 cabins and a commercial recreation resort on preservation zoned land rallied at Honolulu Hale to voice their opposition to the proposed project. This latest rally is the continuation of several public gatherings in which people don’t support development.

While I don’t live in the Hawaii Kai area, I too am opposed to this development proposal. The land out there is quite dry, rocky and arid… did I say dry? There is also no infrastructure to support such a development, though I have heard that the developer would put in their own infrastructure.

Still the place is one of the last pieces of open space on East Oahu. It is also a flashpoint for previous, and successful protests against development. Anyone remember the “Save Sandy Beach” effort in the 1980s? That became a successful campaign in halting the development of high end, near beachfront homes across from the popular body surfing spot. As I recall the issue was put on the ballot and people ended up voting against the development.

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